Tag Archives: wordpress help

WordPress Words: DIV

A “DIV” is an HTML element that divides sections of your WordPress site.

Example: A user can customize their site by adding DIV tags around their content sections in the text editor. Then they can add custom CSS to their DIV’s by going to the Theme Editor in
Appearance–>Editor–>style.css and adding a new line in the file.

.main-grid-content {display:inline-block;background-color:#FFF;}

About the Word

The DIV tag in HTML is used widely on most websites today. By default, a DIV is a block level element, which means it will take up all of the horizontal space  in its current container. In WordPress DIV’s are used to create new sections of content within your site, that may be linked to current classes or new ones.

New sections can help you separate portions of your site to add embedded maps, special offers, promotions, contact information, images and other content.

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WordPress Resources – Who’s Talking?

As WordPress users, we are often stuck looking for help outside of the WordPress owned forums and support options. Going to an outside source can help you gather an outside opinion, talk to advanced users and get guaranteed-honest feedback.

There are many sites all over the internet for this purpose, however, it is important to make sure the sites you are using are professional and have active users and moderators to get you the best answers fast with minimal or no spam. Continue reading WordPress Resources – Who’s Talking?

WordPress News: How to Move WordPress Fast

WP Beginner offered “How to Move WordPress to a New Host or Server With No Downtime,” an article with a collection of step by step instructional information showing you how to move your WordPress site to a new host or server with no disruptive downtime, making the migration process as straightforward as possible.

Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services  (AWS) offer a way to host your own WordPress sight with no hardware and little to no expense on a small WP blog site. This is ideal if you want to start working with a self hosted WordPress site for developmental purposes, monetization of your blog, or just good ol’ bragging rights.

In this article I will go into an overview of the EC2 service and the various Virtual Machines (referred to as instances from here on out) that are free and paid. Some may be free to download and initially spin up but may incur an additional cost to the AWS price tier even if you are in the Free Tier. Even though I discuss the free tier exclusively and micro-instances it should be mentioned that the AWS allows for scalability of your WordPress site so it can grow as your site(s) grow.

Bitnami Logo for WP instance.There are various pre-made instances for use with your AWS account that are configured for just about “one touch” configuration. Some are free, others are free to upload to AWS but incur a usage cost, and others cost for upload and usage. A few of the providers are; Bitnami, JumpBox, and Turnkey Linux. If you do choose to go with these “one click” solutions be sure to read all the print to verify if there are any charges for the instance or use of and how the charges are calculated. Continue reading Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Creating a Static Front Page

Creating a Static Front Page isn’t just fun and innovative it also makes your blog look more like a professional website and less like a “blog”. Static front pages give all your readers and visitors the same welcome. Be it an announcement, how to get around or what your site offers, one thing is for sure, it is informative and it is direct. You can have your site be purely static or you can make it a hybrid blog and also include a “blog” page. Both have their own pros and cons. Continue reading Creating a Static Front Page

Disclosure: It’s Your Responsibility

A disclosure policy helps to inform visitors how the site content corresponds with and affects the user. The policy should be carefully endorsed in a clear and concise way that cannot be manipulated.

If your website is compensated for content by advertisers in the form of: endorsements, cash, or merchandise, or if you have hired staff to test and blog about a product, then your company should specifically disclose this information in the disclosure policy.

Continue reading Disclosure: It’s Your Responsibility

How to Write Post Titles in WordPress

Post titles can be a great way for people to find your post, it can attract people through search engines, that is if they are used properly.

Post Titles and Themes

Most Themes restrict post title length to two lines, however this might not be the case for all WordPress Themes. If you would like to write long post titles, test out multiple WordPress Themes an check the single post pageview as well as the front page as they may look different.

When looking for a Theme for your site it is advised to look at every aspect of the Theme, and not just the home page, there might not be support for some headings, or there may be issues with images. Continue reading How to Write Post Titles in WordPress

How to Add Users to Your WordPress Site

If you intend to have multiple people adding content to your site you will need to know how to add new users.  I have detailed the process below:

  1. Navigate to the administration panel of your website.
  2. Click on Users > Invite New.Step 1 cropped
  3. On the Invite New Users screen, complete the fields for Usernames/Email, Role, and an optional message.Step 3 cropped
  4. When the new user accepts the email invitation, their name will feature “Accepted” next to it in the New User Invite List, and they will be added to the User’s list.Step 4 cropped

Please note that sometimes the emailed invite will arrive faster if you enter the email address of the contributor, not the username.

Changing the WordPress User Role

If you would like to change the user role for a user:

  1. On the Users panel, check the check box next to the User’s name.Step_1 cropped
  2. Then navigate to the drop down menu at the top labeled “Change role to…”Step_2 cropped
  3. Select the desired role for your user, then click the button labeled “Change.”Step_3 cropped

There are 5 user roles in WordPress by default.

  1. Administrator: User will have access to all areas of your site, and permission to change everything.
  2. Editor: User has access to all posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags.
  3. Author: User can write, upload photos, edit, and publish their own posts.
  4. Contributor: User has no publishing or uploading capability, but can write and edit their own posts until they are published.
  5. Follower: User can read and comment on posts and pages.

Make sure to visit the WordPress Codex for more information on user management.

Privacy Policies: Reporting the Tracking

Do you know what personal information is collected from you when you are online? The answer could surprise you. Here is a list of regularly collected information.

What Is Tracked

  • What websites you visit and the frequency of those visits
  • What your name is.
  • Your geographic location.
  • Passwords you use.
  • Credit Card information.
  • Social Security Numbers.

These are just a few examples of the types of information being tracked while you are online. Does it make you wonder what the information is used for?

Continue reading Privacy Policies: Reporting the Tracking

WordPress I Class: Students Tell Students What They Need to Know

Clark College’s class isn’t a typical class. It is a class that evolves each quarter with each collection of students. Students contribute tutorial articles to the student-managed and produced online magazine, ClarkWP,  used in the class notes for future student’s education. We call it legacy content.

Among the legacies left behind each quarter is a collection of tips from students completing the course to help new students learn from their mistakes and successes on how to get the most out of the I course at Clark College with Lorelle VanFossen.

Spring Quarter 2013-14

Here are the tips for future students taking the course from the Spring Quarter of 2013-14.

From Stephanie Billmyre:

Getting the opportunity to take a class like Lorelle’s WordPress (CTEC 160) is one you may not get twice, and the advantage should be seized to it’s full potential. Not only is the entire class environment absolutely amazing but, if you truly thrive for knowledge in WordPress writing, web development, css, html, social media, and marketing via the web and want to explore how to start AND MAINTAIN your very own site, then you will enjoy this class. My recommendations come from my own experiences are intended to ultimately encourage you to stick with the class until the very end!

Here is my advise:

  • Do not be shy in this class, it is a collaborative subject [MAKE A BUDDY]. If you do not work well in groups or on team projects then this class may not be for you.
  • Take only this class if your schedule will accommodate for it or take light alternatives to fill your schedule – there is a lot of work and you are expected to complete it.
  • Remember to keep an open mind and think outside of the box – ask for help.
  • Don’t blink; don’t miss ANY classes.

When you are done with class each day give your neighbor a high five; the entire group will need it after racing through the material and trying to capture the thousands of ideas coming your way as you explore all the wonderful opportunities of WordPress.

Continue reading WordPress I Class: Students Tell Students What They Need to Know

How to Use the WordPress.org Forums

Most people who spend any time on the web are familiar with forums, message boards where people get together and talk about certain specific subjects.

The WordPress.org forums are a great tool for anyone having trouble with their self-hosted WordPress site. In this tutorial, we cover some basics about using the WordPress.org forums:

  • How to access the forums
  • Posting on the WordPress.org forums
  • How to properly phrase a request for help
  • How to answer a forum question

How to Access the WordPress.org Forums

  1. Go to WordPress.org Support Forums

    A picture of the WordPress.org homepage, with the "Support" link opened up and the links for Forums and Documentation displayed

  2. Select the forum that best pertains to the problem you are having. 

    A picture showing some of WordPress.org's sub-forums,

It is worth noting that there is a specific forum for Multisite WordPress users as well as WordPress Plugins, Themes, and other areas of WordPress interest and support.

Posting on the WordPress.org forums

Now that you’ve navigated to the appropriate forum that pertains to the problem you’re having, it’s time to learn how to post in the forum.

  1. First, login to your WordPress.org account using the form at the top of the forum screen. If you do not already have a WordPress.org account, instead click on the “Register” button, which will take you through the steps of creating an account.

    Picture of the WordPress.org log-in form, as well as the "Register" button

  2. Click on the “Add New” button next to the forum’s title to start a new post. 

    A picture of the "Add New" button on WordPress.org's forum page

How to properly phrase a request for help

When starting a new post, it is important to give it a title that will clearly convey what help you are seeking.

Here is an example of a properly phrased request for help:

Picture of a WordPress.org post, asking for help with a password error

Anyone viewing the forums can tell at a glace what problem this user is having and if they are able to assist them.

A properly phrased request for help means it is more likely to get a response. Avoid overly general titles like “Looking for help!” or “I’m getting an error” as these are more likely to be ignored.

How to Answer Forum Questions

To answer a forum question, simply log in and click on the title of the post you wish to answer. This will bring you you to a screen that will allow you to reply to the question asked.

A picture of a reply form to a WordPress.org forum post

Finding posts that have a fewer number of replies will usually be more beneficial than responding to a post that has a large number of replies. While there’s nothing wrong with adding your voice to the conversation, there’s a better chance that the poster has already found the help they were looking from from a previous response.

Putting It All Together

WordPress.org’s forums can be a very powerful and helpful resource. By following the steps detailed in this post, you can not only find help to issues you are having with WordPress but also help strengthen the community by helping to solve the problems of others as well.

Here are some helpful articles to guide you through the WordPress Support Forums.

Why Should You Update WordPress?

WordPress logo chased across the black night by stars.

One of the most important reasons to update WordPress is security. This is to prevent hackers from gaining access to WordPress and user websites. WordPress is always updating security and maintenance to prevent attacks from malicious code.

WordPress implemented automatic updates with the release of WordPress 2.7, originally called the WordPress Upgrader. These updates can occur while you are sleeping. Continue reading Why Should You Update WordPress?

Some Beginner Don’ts for WordPress

I found the article, “Beginner WordPress Bloggers: 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do” by Tom Ewer to be very helpful for a new WordPress student and I’d like to highlight a few of the suggestions in my own collection of do and don’t tips for those new to WordPress, especially students in the Clark College WordPress classes. This comes from a student who can say “been there, done that, didn’t get a t-shirt.” 😀

Don’t Moderate Comments

By setting your comments to be moderated on your site, comments are held back until you approve them.

If you check frequently or use an email or mobile app to get notifications of comments waiting to be approved, this is okay, but it takes extra time and attention.

Moderating comments doesn’t prevent comment spam, and can prevent a lot of your viewers from coming back because the experience will be lacking compared to a live conversation. Your delay in approving moderated comments can frustrate the commenters.

By default, WordPress moderates new commenters by holding their first-time comments in moderation until you approve them. Once you have approved them, you are basically telling WordPress that they are okay people and their comments will not be moderated in the future.

To manage comment moderation in WordPress: Continue reading Some Beginner Don’ts for WordPress